Packing and Storage

Posted on June 26, 2014

Moving to a new town is complicated enough but when you’re moving to a new country, what to leave behind and what to take with you becomes even more confusing. Even if you don’t want to move all your household effects, there are bound to be more things to bring than just those you can fit in a suitcase or two. Taking the move in stages and approaching it slowly and logically by following the steps below should make the task a little easier.

What to Take With You

You can’t escape approaching this question from two angles — the emotional and the practical:

  • Items you love and can’t replace
  • Items you like that you can replace

Weigh Up Removal Costs

White goods/Kitchen Appliances – there is little reason to bring these with you unless you have a particular attachment to them. They’re bulky, heavy, and need careful packing if they’re to arrive safely and rental properties in the UK – even if they are unfurnished – will have them already included in the rent. If you do want to bring yours with you from abroad, make sure they are compatible with UK plumbing and power connections.

Furniture – We often have emotional attachments to pieces of furniture. Think carefully before discarding anything that links you to your history or roots.

Electricals – bear in mind plug and voltage differences. Depending on where you’re moving from, you will need the appropriate adaptor for your electrical items.

Personal Effects – From photographs to decorative objects, everyone has some part of their personal history linked to physical items. To keep these items safe and make sure nothing is forgotten or lost, wrap and pack them securely into boxes as early as possible before your moving date.

Self Storage Options

Self storage answers the dilemma of what to do with treasured items either when you first arrive in UK or when you’re living in temporary, furnished accommodation. Here are some of the advantages:

1. Huge selection of storage room sizes – You can choose from tiny telephone box sized rooms right up to areas large enough to hold the contents of a five bedroomed house.

2. Location Friendly – Self storage facilities are in just about every town and city in the UK, so there’s bound to be one close to your final destination. A Google search will reveal not only which companies offer self storage, but also which ones are in your town.

3. Ready when you are – Book in advance so you know your storage space is available when you arrive. Arrange for your removal company to deliver to the storage address at an agreed meeting time. Bear in mind that you need to be at the storage facility when your goods arrive in order to complete the storage rental process and take possession of your room. You’ll find the staff at self storage facilities friendly and helpful, and the opening hours convenient if you’re estimated arrival time is later than standard office hours.

4. Flexible Terms -Moving to a room of a different size (should your original booking not prove suitable) is usually possible (providing an alternative is available). Storage periods can range from a week to several years. There’s no long or fixed term contract: you determine your storage rental period.

Deciding How Much Space You Need

This can be tricky. Packing early in the moving process, as mentioned above, will reveal how much space your boxed items take up so you can be prepared and estimate the space needed for other items you intend storing, from beds and sofas to pianos or bicycles.

If you need help determining the size of space you need, look online for visual representation such as that shown here – this will also help you estimate costs:

As a rule of thumb, overestimating is better than underestimating. Should you find you have too much space, downsizing is relatively simple, but at least you’ll have plenty of room for everything to start with.

Booking Self Storage

Contact your preferred storage company direct, either by email, phone or via live chat on their website if they provide the facility. Let them know your circumstances, what you’re looking for in the way of storage and your anticipated arrival date. They will advise on every aspect of moving into your room, so you know exactly how to proceed and what to expect when you arrive.

Self storage is a convenient half-way house when you’re moving, whether between countries or just between towns. Taking the move in stages eases the pressure and provides a breathing space while you get used to your new surroundings and find your feet.

This article was written in collaboration with Big Yellow Self Storage. For more storage tips see their website or blog.

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